sideline

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Related to sidelining: seek out, passed on

on the sidelines

In a position in which one is not actively participating in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sidelines during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, sideline

stay on the sideline(s)

1. In sports, to stay outside the boundaries of the playing area because one is not participating in the game, due to being a substitute, injured, etc. Unfortunately that knee injury will force her to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
2. By extension, to not be an active participant in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sideline during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, stay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on the sidelines

Observing rather than taking part, out of the action, as in Bolivia's neighbors remained on the sidelines, waiting to see which faction in the dispute would prevail . This idiom comes from sports. The sidelines are the two lines defining the sides of the court or playing field and the area immediately beyond them where, in such sports as football, the non-playing team members sit. [First half of 1900s]
See also: on, sideline
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the sidelines

If you are on the sidelines in a situation, you watch it happening but are not directly involved and cannot influence it. France no longer wants to be left on the sidelines when critical decisions are taken. The government has just stood on the sidelines up to now and let the situation get worse.
See also: on, sideline
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

on (or from) the sidelines

in (or from) a position where you are observing a situation but are unable or unwilling to be directly involved in it.
In sports such as football and basketball, the sidelines mark the long edges of a playing area, behind which spectators, coaches, and other non-players must remain.
See also: on, sideline
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on the ˈsidelines

watching something but not taking an active part in it; waiting to take an active part in something: The Prime Minister’s husband talked about what it was like on the sidelines of political life.He’s waiting on the sidelines for a chance to re-enter politics.
The sidelines are the lines along the sides of a sports field that mark the outer edges.
See also: on, sideline
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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